Home Coronavirus Survey: Freelancers to contribute £125bn to UK economy in 2021

Survey: Freelancers to contribute £125bn to UK economy in 2021

A freelancer in a protective mask works on a laptop .

According to a survey from Mettle, carried out with YouGov, self-employed workers and those with a “side hustle” outside of their full-time job will contribute around £125 billion to the UK economy in 2021.

The research, which polled almost 2,200 self-employed workers, highlights the vastly important role freelancers will play in the UK’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

The survey claimed that, along with the UK’s estimated five million self-employed workers, 25 per cent of UK adults say they have a “side-hustle”, which has become a valuable source of income for many during the pandemic.

Mettle’s study also revealed that the flexibility and freedom offered by self-employed work was the most common reason people gave for going freelance (57 per cent of those polled). This was followed by 38 per cent who wanted to change their work/life balance.

The most common age group among the self-employed workers surveyed was 55+. People in this age group were responsible for establishing 38 per cent of limited companies and “side hustles” since March 2020.

However, reflecting the difficulties currently facing the UK’s self-employed workforce, 57 per cent claimed they would not be looking to expand or grow in 2021. 29 per cent specifically said that the UK’s economic uncertainty meant they would not look to expand.

Mettle CEO Marieke Flament said: “More people are choosing to start or create something of their own more than ever before due to changing lifestyles, personal circumstances, or fulfilling a personal ambition. This research highlights the importance of this growing movement for the UK’s economic recovery in 2021 – particularly amongst the over 55 age group.”

Flament added: “As the UK looks to rebound from the economic damage caused by COVID-19, it’s absolutely vital that this segment has access to the support and services it needs to thrive.”